The NY Jets seemed convinced they were going to sign former Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. last offseason. In fact, Beckham himself seemed set on making his return to New York to play for the Jets.
But despite months of flirting and anticipation, Beckham ultimately agreed to a one-year, $15 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens last April. What happened? How did Beckham end up spurning the Jets for Baltimore?
Beckham explained his thought process on a recent episode of the Punch Line Podcast this weekend. The former LSU star reiterated that he wanted to sign with the Jets and that he was prepared to do so, but he didn't seem to like the way the Jets' front office handled the situation.
While the Ravens were aggressive in their pursuit, Beckham explained how the Jets "slow-played the offer" and how the team thought "they had it in the bag." That didn't seem to sit well with Beckham, who ultimately signed with the Ravens shortly after.
Odell Beckham Jr.'s comments reflect poorly on the NY Jets front office
Beckham summed up the situation by sharing the famous quote, "Go where you're celebrated, not tolerated." He insisted that the Jets believed they were "the best team" in the situation and that it would be a privilege for him to play there.
In the end, the Ravens made a competitive offer that was similar to the Jets' offer, and he decided to sign with them. As Beckham explained, the way the two teams handled the situation significantly contributed to his decision.
Now, you can absolutely argue that this was a blessing in disguise for both parties. The Jets should have never been in the market for Beckham at that price point, to begin with, and his modest production and continued injury concerns in 2023 are evidence of that.
And for Beckham, he's likely glad he signed with the Ravens, where he will have an opportunity to compete for a Super Bowl this season instead of catching passes from the likes of Zach Wilson, Tim Boyle, and Trevor Siemian in New York.
The biggest takeaway, however, is that this isn't a very good look for the Jets' front office. By all accounts, they really wanted to sign Beckham. In fact, they expected to sign him. As Beckham puts it, the Jets believed they "had it in the bag." They thought it was a done deal.
Instead, the Ravens swooped in, signed Beckham, and made the Jets look a little foolish in the process. Whether you think the Jets should have signed Beckham or not, that's not really the point here.
The Jets missed out on a prized free agent that they wanted because of perceived arrogance. That reflects poorly on general manager Joe Douglas and the team's entire front office.
Beckham's comments should raise some alarms in Florham Park. The Jets missed on a top free-agent target because of their own incompetence.